trying to figure out my VHF - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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Otter- The Pan Pans you sometimes hear issued by the CG are often asking other boats in the vicinity of a reported distress or incident to render assistance or help locate the vessel, MOB, etc.

Here in the Sound, they often seem to be the result of hapless power boaters who can't read their fuel gauges. But of course, they should always be treated seriously.


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post #12 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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I would suggest that "urgency" not be spoken in the same breath as "pan pan". Urgency implies that some action must be taken immediately to prevent dire consequences, and that's a MayDay situation. There is no urgency to a "pan pan" situation, it is just a warning that there is a problem which MAY degenerate and MAY require aid or attention.

Very much like putting up a "CAUTION: WET FLOORS" sign when you're mopping a hallway.

My engine is out, my halyards are fouled, it is 10AM and the weathercast calls for squalls by 4PM and there's a lee shore. That's a pan-pan, I'm in no danger and given six hours I can probably deal with the engine or halyard. But I know the Coast Guard has been busy as all hell and I want them to be aware, if I haven't gotten things fixed by 3PM...I'm going to be in a different situation.

It then becomes their call, do they attend to my disabled vessel now (no, under Reagonomics they'll refer a tow company) while things are slow? Or wait to see the window on those squalls and lee shore close?

Weather changes, squall forecast cancelled, tide shifts out and I'm ust gonna get cold and hungry waiting for the next tow boat? Them I'm still a pan-pan, NO URGENCY, NO DISTRESS.

If no one is going to die, and nothing is going to sink, there's no urgency and no distress call. There may be a huge incovenience--but that's all.

Last edited by hellosailor; 09-15-2011 at 02:41 PM.
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I would suggest that "urgency" not be spoken in the same breath as "pan pan". Urgency implies that some action must be taken immediately to prevent dire consequences, and that's a MayDay situation. There is no urgency to a "pan pan" situation, it is just a warning that there is a problem which MAY degenerate and MAY require aid or attention.

That does not match the the CFR Title 47 section 80.327

trying to figure out my VHF

Which I posted earlier.

Pan Pan = urgency.

Mayday = distress

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post #14 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I would suggest that "urgency" not be spoken in the same breath as "pan pan". Urgency implies that some action must be taken immediately to prevent dire consequences, and that's a MayDay situation. There is no urgency to a "pan pan" situation, it is just a warning that there is a problem which MAY degenerate and MAY require aid or attention.

Very much like putting up a "CAUTION: WET FLOORS" sign when you're mopping a hallway.

My engine is out, my halyards are fouled, it is 10AM and the weathercast calls for squalls by 4PM and there's a lee shore. That's a pan-pan, I'm in no danger and given six hours I can probably deal with the engine or halyard. But I know the Coast Guard has been busy as all hell and I want them to be aware, if I haven't gotten things fixed by 3PM...I'm going to be in a different situation.

It then becomes their call, do they attend to my disabled vessel now (no, under Reagonomics they'll refer a tow company) while things are slow? Or wait to see the window on those squalls and lee shore close?

Weather changes, squall forecast cancelled, tide shifts out and I'm ust gonna get cold and hungry waiting for the next tow boat? Them I'm still a pan-pan, NO URGENCY, NO DISTRESS.

If no one is going to die, and nothing is going to sink, there's no urgency and no distress call. There may be a huge incovenience--but that's all.
Pan-Pan is by definition an urgency message. It is used for non-life threatening emergencies either to a person or to a vessel. You also have to cancel a Pan-Pan the same way you are required to cancel a Mayday with a "Silence Finee" to let everyone know that the situation is under control and that you no longer need assistance.

The situations you described might warrant hailing the CG on 16 to advise them of your situation, but not a Pan-Pan call.

I'm not a captain, but I would think:

Mayday: Boat Sinking, Life Threatening Medical Emergency.
Pan-Pan: Man Overboard, vessel adrift and in imminent danger, non-life threatening medical emergency.


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post #15 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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This is exactly how I remember being taught this many many years ago. I've repeated it to many.

Securite, securite, all vessels be advised that a large log is floating down the channel

Pan, Pan, I've just hit a large log which disabled my rudder and am unable to maneuver. Need assistance.

Mayday, mayday, a large log just tore through the boat and we're sinking.
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post #16 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaviGsr View Post
Mayday: Boat Sinking, Life Threatening Medical Emergency.
Pan-Pan: Man Overboard, vessel adrift and in imminent danger, non-life threatening medical emergency.
Not exactly.

A man overboard is by definition a Mayday. Its a threat to life.

A vessel adrift is a Pan Pan, however, a vessel in imminent danger is a Mayday.
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post #17 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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Jack, that CFR definition is one of the exact reasons that I suggested the two words not be used together. There are many conflicting definitions and qualifications to be found on this subject, and I really really hope that everyone is aware the CFR was written by a plethora of legislative aids, with varying skills and qualifications.

Like most legislation, it is often found to be chock full of errors and unintended meanings and weasel words that defy simple YnGlitch.

Let's face it, either a situation IS URGENT or it is NOT URGENT. Only a CongressCritter could write legislation defining it both ways.

Some years ago USCG Group Shinnecock recovered a man in an inner tube, float fishing ten miles off Shinnecock Inlet, gently riding the current on his way to Gander, Newfoundland.

When they got to him, he was still fishing. They asked him, why was he still fishing, when he'd drifted all that far out of the inlet and out to sea. You know what he said? "What else did I have to do?"

Damned inconvenient, but no urgency.
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post #18 of 25 Old 09-15-2011
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The CFR definition was not written by some flunky in Washington. It mirrors the International Telecommunications Union's standards.

Quote:
33.10 § 4 The urgency signal consists of the words PAN PAN. In radiotelephony each
word of the group shall be pronounced as the French word “panne”.


33.12 § 6 1) The urgency call should consist of:
– the urgency signal PAN PAN, spoken three times;
– the name of the called station or “all stations”, spoken three times;
– the words THIS IS;
– the name of the station transmitting the urgency message, spoken three times;
– the call sign or any other identification;
– the MMSI (if the initial announcement has been sent by DSC),
followed by the urgency message or followed by the details of the channel to be used for the
message in the case where a working channel is to be used.
http://life.itu.int/radioclub/rr/chapt-7.pdf

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post

Pan Pan Medico is used for health emergencies, like a broken arm etc. but is not used much in North America anymore
Hi Jim

It turns out there is a use for this term, but it seems to be used international conflicts.

Quote:
33.19 § 10 The term “medical transports”, as defined in the 1949 Geneva Conventions
and Additional Protocols, refers to any means of transportation by land, water or air, whether
military or civilian, permanent or temporary, assigned exclusively to medical transportation and
under the control of a competent authority of a party to a conflict or of neutral States and of other
States not parties to an armed conflict, when these ships, craft and aircraft assist the wounded,
the sick and the shipwrecked.
33.20 § 11 1) For the purpose of announcing and identifying medical transports which
are protected under the above-mentioned Conventions, the procedure of Section II of this Article
is used. The urgency call shall be followed by the addition of the single word MEDICAL in
narrow-band direct-printing and by the addition of the single word MAY-DEE-CAL pronounced
as in French “médical”, in radiotelephony.

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So instead of a flunky, we have questions of translation.

You tell me, how does one parse the line between "urgent" and "distress" then? We know that distress is any situation where there is imminent danger of loss of life or property. But "urgent" supposedly requires immediate attention and assistance. How would that be required, without distress?

Perhaps, if a crew suffered a traumatic amputation, no pain meds were available, but the crew was expected to survive until the ship reached shore--that would be "urgent" without being "distress", since the crew was expected to survive in any case?

I'm not seeing this as well written or explained, no matter how many engineers and authors of whatever nationality started the scribbling. It shouldn't be that hard to draw, define, and exemplify the difference.

Man overboard. Can he swim? OK, then it is just pan-pan? And it isn't Mayday until we sight shark fins, perhaps?

There should be no place for confusion in these matters.
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